Next phase of £165 million programme for vulnerable families launched

The newly named Supporting Families programme aims to support some of the most vulnerable families in society.

26/03/21

Next phase of £165 million programme for vulnerable families launched

The next phase of the Government programme to support some of the most vulnerable families in society has been launched today (26 March 2021) by the Housing Secretary, backed by £165 million of funding.

Previously known as the ‘Troubled Families’ programme, the newly named ‘Supporting Families’ programme works to aid those in abusive relationships, provide the right support for those with mental health issues, as well as help unemployed people to find work.

Through the programme, which began in 2012 – families are assigned a dedicated keyworker, who works with every member of the family and brings local services together to resolve issues at an early stage, before they develop into more significant problems.

Since 2015, over 400,000 vulnerable families have received support to help them turn their lives around and build brighter futures, and over 870,000 families have benefited from the programme’s ‘whole family’ approach to tackling problems.

The Government says the programme has delivered significant results while reducing costs of services, with the proportion of children supported by the programme going into care reduced by a third and the proportion of adults going to prison reduced by a quarter.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said the programme will help families with multiple complex problems to overcome difficulties as early as possible.

“It is a critical part of our moral mission to tackle intergenerational unemployment, crime, domestic abuse and family breakdown,” Jenrick said.

Eddie Hughes MP, Minister for Housing and Rough Sleeping said: “By working with every member of a family and bringing local services together, Supporting Families keyworkers get to the heart of the multiple and connected difficulties many families face and tackle them early – overcoming obstacles before they develop into something more serious and reducing the cost of services to the taxpayer.”

Building stronger data is a key focus of the next phase of the programme, and the Government today announced the launch of a new Data Accelerator Fund to improve how councils use data to support vulnerable families. This includes identifying families that need support and helping frontline workers get the information they need.

Commenting on the launch of the next phase of the Supporting Families programme, Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Vice President Charlotte Ramsden said she welcomed the next phase and the “much needed investment” it will bring.

“The funding from this programme has been a vital part of the early help offer for a majority of local authorities and its continuation will undoubtedly help improve the lives of many children and families.”

“We know that the reasons why children come to the attention of early help services are largely due to adults experiencing domestic abuse, mental health difficulties or substance misuse. The pandemic will unfortunately have had a negative impact on these issues and LAs are now supporting more new families as a result.”

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